In Australia, a tribe of white, middle-class, progressive professionals is actively working to improve the lives of Indigeus people. This book explores what happens when well-meaning people, supported by the state, attempt to help without harming. White anti-racists find themselves trapped by endless ambiguities, contradictions, and double binds - a microcosm of the broader dilemmas of postcolonial societies. These dilemmas are fueled by tension between the twin desires of equality and difference: to close the gap, and to make indigeus people statistically the same as n-indigeus people while maintaining their distinctiveness. This tension lies at the heart of failed development efforts in indigeus communities, ethnic mirity populations and the global South. This book explains why doing good is so hard, and how it could be done differently.
Emma Kowal is Associate Professor in Anthropology at Deakin University, Melbourne. She has previously worked as a medical doctor and public health researcher in Indigenous health settings. Kowal is co-editor of Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies and Force, Movement, Intensity: The Newtonian Imagination in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and her research has been published in numerous journals.